Prompting like a Pro – Do’s and Dont’s with Copilot

Prompting like a Pro - Do's and Dont's with Copilot

Welcome back to Copilot Your Day! We’ve already seen how M365 Copilot integrates with Teams and Word. To use Copilot correctly, we write down our instruction or “prompt”. Copilot uses this information to understand your request and deliver the desired output. But why is prompting such an important skill? And what does a good prompt look like? Let’s dive into today’s episode.

Why is a good prompt so important?

Your prompt is the way you interact with the AI. Therefore, you need to describe your thought/idea in the right way. When we use search engines like Bing or Google, we can use some keywords like “Microsoft Copilot” and get the best results based on the search index. But in the context of Copilot we need to describe it in a better way, not only describe it but also interact with it like a conversation.

Prompts are how you ask Microsoft 365 Copilot to do something for you – like creating, summarizing, editing or transforming. Think about prompting like having a conversation using plain but clear language and providing context like you would like an assistant.

Use cases

The range of prompts is as individual as you are, it depends on what you need, so make sure you use simple but clear language and always add context.

  • Catch-Up provide me an update on my unread e-mails and the action items
  • Create create me a FAQ-docuement based on the [presentation-link]
  • Revise revise me the and optimize it for a Viva Engage post
  • Summarize Summarize me the [Word-Document] and list the key elements in 5 bullet points
  • Translate translate me from German in English.
  • and many more…

How does a good prompt look like?

Now that we understand the basics of prompting, what does a good prompt look like? There is something of a step-by-step approach. So let’s take a closer look.

Step by step to build your own prompt; source: Pascal Brunner inspired by Microsoft slides

As you can see in my build your prompt image, you can always follow the same rules, the important thing is to keep the conversation going. Unlike search engines, you can interact with Copilot. Of course you can create your own super prompt, but in my experience you should make sure you have a solid first prompt and then navigate with interaction to your final answer.

Do’s and Dont’s

Maximize the benefits of Copilot and avoid common mistakes by understanding the do’s and don’ts of prompt writing. You can also find a one-pager at Microsoft Copilot Adoption.

Do’s – maximize your response

  • Be Precise: Provide detailed instructions, including the topic, purpose, tone, and desired length, to help Copilot generate the best possible content.
  • Keep it Friendly: Engage with Copilot in a conversational manner and offer feedback on its responses to help it learn and adapt to your preferences.
  • Provide Examples: Use specific keywords or phrases when requesting text from Copilot to help it generate more relevant and creative content.
  • Seek Feedback: Ask Copilot for feedback to better understand your needs and preferences and receive more helpful responses.
  • Write Clearly: Use proper punctuation, capitalization, and grammar when writing prompts to help Copilot produce high-quality text and responses.
  • Verify Accuracy: Occasionally, Copilot may make mistakes. Always check its responses for accuracy, grammar, and style, and watch out for irrelevant or inappropriate content.
  • Provide Context: Give Copilot contextual details to help it generate more accurate and consistent responses. For example, provide the genre, characters, and plot of a story.
  • Be Respectful: Use polite and respectful language when interacting with Copilot to foster collaboration and improve its responsiveness and performance.

Dont’s – be aware of it

  • Be vague: When prompting Copilot, avoid using vague language, and be as clear as possible to receive better-quality responses.
  • Request inappropriate or unethical content: Copilot is not responsible for the content or the consequences of your writing. You should respect local laws, rules, and the rights of others.
  • Use slang, jargon, or informal language: This may cause Copilot to give low-quality, inappropriate or unprofessional responses
  • Give conflicting instructions: Prompting Copilot to perform a task that includes multiple or conflicting pieces of information in the same request can confuse the AI and result in lower quality responses.
  • Interrupt or change topics abruptly: This could disrupt Copilot’s writing process. Always close or finish a task before starting a new one. When starting a new task, write “New task.”

This blog is part of Microsoft Copilot Week! Find more similar blogs on our Microsoft Copilot Landing page here.

About the author:

Pascal Brunner

Pascal Brunner, MVP

“Don’t take work home with you” – many people try to separate their work from their personal life and vice versa. From my point of view it should be the other way around.

My goal is to bring together information, routines, and concepts to show how personal habits and business routines can create a harmonious and synergistic whole.

As Practice Lead Modern Work Switzerland at Campana & Schott and Microsoft MVP, my great passion is the transformation of work – Modern Work and Employee Experience are essential topics as well as Copilot. I dedicate my lifestyle to weight lifting, which not only maximizes my health, but also my positive mindset.

Connecting seemingly unrelated dots – This idea is at the core of my content and is reflected in the claim “Connecting the Dots”. Personally, I connect the dots between what I do at work and what I do in sports. This allows me to get the best out of both my professional and personal life.

Team sports and passion have had a strong influence on me from a very young age. I started playing ice hockey at the EVZ when I was six years old – for me, it was the best school of life I could experience. You can only be successful as part of a team, but at the same time you need the individual class of each player.

Even today, sport is an important part of my daily life. It allows me to shape and strengthen not only my body, but also my mind. In weight lifting, I am the only one responsible for success or failure.

The combination of a positive mindset and weight lifting is the foundation of my professional success.


Brunner, P. (2024) Prompting like a Pro – Do’s and Dont’s with Copilot. Available at: (1) Prompting like a Pro – Do’s and Dont’s with Copilot | LinkedIn [Accessed on 23/04/2024]

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